Rock the Vote -- Part III

                    Harnessing the Political Power of the Cats

It’s a good time to be a cat owner in Pennsylvania. As the Senate race between Democrat Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey comes down to the wire,  both candidates are trying to woo the cat owning citizens with bold promises and flashy ads. A new poll shows that 87% of cat owners in the keystone state are undecided, compared to 14% of dog owners, 8% of lizard owners, and 3% of Presbyterians. That’s a number no campaign can pass up, and it’s no surprise that desperate candidates are using everything in their war chests to capture the elusive vote.

 

After the poll was released, Democrats struck first by giving all Democratic members of Congress a kitten that was to be worn either on the shoulder or around the politicians’ necks in a tiny cage like a necklace as a sign of support. These fashion-cats started a trend, and a poll taken that day showed cat owners were in favor of Democrats, three-to-one.

 

That number quickly changed later that night after the Republican group Americans for American Freedom in America donated three tons of cats to local schools in Pennsylvania. The cats, many of which were adorable and not at all nasty, are now roaming school hallways and brightening everyone’s day. A poll conducted seven minutes after Operation School Cat was announced showed that 68% of cat owners were ready to vote for a Republican senator, and staggering 99% wished rainbows could talk.

 

Democrats tried to retaliate by giving area hospitals a few dozen lions, but according to a very speedy poll conducted in a matter of minutes, cat owners are not necessarily lion enthusiasts, and the plan backfired. Plus, the hospitals were ill-equipped to deal with lions. The lions were rounded up and taken to a farm, except three lions that escaped and now dwell in the sewers, thus prompting the Republican TV ad calling the Democrats “Sewer Lions,” a term that doesn’t really mean anything, but when said in a condescending manner is rather effective.

 

Looking to even the playing field, Sestak used his skills as an amateur veterinarian to cure a few sick cats on The Tonight Show. Polls showed that cat owners enjoyed this, but not nearly enough cat owners watched the show, as 45% of them were sleeping and 33% didn't care for their cats.

 

Toomey, meanwhile, went on The View last week to promote feline osteoporosis awareness. And it probably would have helped put him over the top, if only he hadn’t stumbled over the words, “feline osteoporosis awareness.” He tried to recover by calling it, “bad cat bones,” but the damage was already done. And the cat owner vote was once again, up for grabs.

 

In a last-ditch effort to nab the cat owner vote, the Sestak campaign paid a reported $400,000 to have Sestak drawn into a Garfield comic strip. Garfield author Jim Davis rarely uses his comic strip for political purposes, except for that one instance in which Garfield took a stand against the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994.

 

With only days left before the votes are cast, and some polls showing there are only minutes remaining, the candidates have big stunts planned to win over the cat lovers. Rumor has it Sestak will announce a dog tax later today, and Toomey volunteers were seen shoving small, thin kittens under the doors of potential voters.

Will it be enough? Cat owner Lisa Gunkle said, "I don’t know. Maybe I’ll stay home. It’s all so busy."

 

Dan Bergstein cannot tell the difference between candy corn and regular corn.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

advertisement
Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.